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When I was young, my favorite fairy-tale was Cinderella. Why? It is such a silly story. She meets some guy at a dance and they fall in love forever…not likely.
I think I equated falling in love and getting married to prince charming and happily ever after. Anyone who lives in the real world knows, this just is NOT the way life works.
The truth is that no matter how great your marriage is, it is not perfect. We are human and none of us are purely awesome all the time. Happily ever after is just a good ending to a fake story. That doesn’t mean that our love stories will not be great, but there will be at least a few bumps in the road. There will be some mistakes. Every now and then there may be some hurts that we have to work through. There is a saying floating around on the internet that goes like this…
“Don’t compare your love story to those you watch in movies. They are written by script writers, yours is written by God.” – Author Unknown
In today’s world it is normal to be exposed to all the love stories in books, television and movies. But even the ones that are based on a true story are doctored to make them more appealing to the readers or viewers. Watching a movie or reading a book that has a love story in it is not the problem though. The problem comes when we allow those stories to cloud our view of our spouse.
If you find yourself reading or watching these stories and then comparing it to your own story…please stop. I have heard of so many women getting an attitude of wishing their husband was more like a character in a book or on screen. According to dictionary.com, here are the definitions of discontent:
not content, dissatisfied, lack of content and a restless desire or craving for something one does not have...
Do these stories that are crafted by writers leave you with a restless desire or craving for something you do not have?
Let me put it another way. What is one of the biggest reasons women do not want their husbands looking at other women and their physical bodies?
We do not want them looking because we know that we do not measure up. We do not look like those airbrushed girls in magazines. We do not have personal trainers and plastic surgeons. Our full time job is not looking beautiful in front of a camera. We do not want our husbands daydreaming about what those other women look like and wishing we were just like them.
So how is that different than those fake love stories that can plant seeds of discontentment in our hearts towards our spouse? Imagine this…you bring home some book that all the girls at work are raving about. You have been talking about it for weeks. Your husband knows you are dying to read it. Maybe he even buys it for you.
You take a relaxing weekend and dive in. Hubby knows you love to read and you have been waiting forever for this book. So he keeps the kids distracted, takes them to the park, visits family, whatever. Sunday afternoon you read the final ‘and they lived happily ever after line’…you look up from your book and start to come out of your dreamy, reading coma.
And there stands your husband, who is far from perfect and is a real human being.
Is he any less perfect than anyone else’s husband? Probably not. He is most likely a normal guy and he gave you all weekend to read a book you have been waiting for. So how does your mind react to this? If you have enough control of your mind to keep the fake love story under the ‘not real’ tab in your brain, then fine. But what if you can’t?
God created women with swooning hearts. It is one of the things that makes us women. It is the reason that when we find out the true story of the love that Jesus has for us, we just melt. We were designed to desire to be loved like that. That is the ultimate love story and marriage is to be modeled after Christ’s love of the church. But…
What about the other stories? What if you find yourself wishing hubby was a little more romantic? What if you start to look at him as if there is something lacking and the more fake love stories you read or watch, the more he lacks? Now what do you do? Silly untrue stories about fictional characters have altered the way you look at your spouse. This could change the way you both react to each other. This could possibly lead you down a path that could be heartbreaking.
I know that all of this sounds so extreme, but I have seen it happen. Marriage is hard work. Why make it even harder?
Do I read books or watch movies that have a story in it? I used to, but rarely do anymore. I am not talking about the little love story that is just a tiny part of the rest of the story. I am talking about the full on, this is what the whole movie/book is about love story.
My husband made a comment when we were first married about a book that all the women at his job were just raving about. He heard them compare their relationships and he could hear the discontented attitudes getting stronger. Before he mentioned this, I had never paid attention. Now I do and I really think he was right…those love stories can cloud our view of our own story.
I think in the love department, it is much more helpful to keep our eyes on Jesus and to make Him the center of our relationship. Maybe you are able to immerse yourself in a love story for the weekend and come out the other side without it having any effect on your view of your own love story. For myself, I really just do not want to risk it. Marriage is not always easy and I want to give mine every opportunity to thrive.